Online security is paramount in today’s connected world. It seems that every other day we’re seeing news articles about high-profile hacking attempts, ransomware, identity theft and DDOS attacks. All this press means that your website visitors quite possibly have an inherent lack of trust toward websites, especially when entering their personal and payment information (as well they should).
So what can you do? You can start by installing an SSL certificate on your web server. Basically, what an SSL certificate does is encrypt information including form submissions, login details, etc. Users will see the web address listed as https:// (note the s) and most web browsers will display some sort of secure icon like a green lock, showing that the webpage is utilizing an SSL certificate and information transfer is encrypted. Without an SSL certificate, information is passed in plain text format and is much more easily intercepted by nefarious hackers.
Aside from the obvious benefits of protecting your website visitor’s info and instilling trust with users, there’s another important benefit of SSL certificates: Google loves them. As far back as 2014, Google has been giving secured sites (https) better rankings. The Google Chrome web browser now also displays a “Not Secure” message for web pages that collect certain data like passwords via forms. There have even been reports of Google blacklisting websites that collect password information via non-secure pages. Most recently Google announced that web pages that have ANY kind of form will display a Not Secure message in Chrome regardless of the type of information. By any account, Google Chrome is by far the most widely used web browser so in the near future your website could be showing a large percentage of users that it’s not secure.
Installing an SSL certificate isn’t a terribly complicated process but can be involved depending on your hosting company. If you need some help getting your website secured, contact Chris at 615.521.1890 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.